Travel Facts

City Codes
UIO: Quito
GYE: Guayaquil
CUE: Cuenca
GPS: Galapagos (Baltra & San Cristobal)
OCC: Coca (Amazonia)
LGQ: Lago Agrio (Amazonia)
Entry requirements: Valid U.S. passport. Tourist cards issued free upon arrival.
Taxes/Surcharges: International departure tax: $25. Galapagos National Park tax: $100
Hotel taxes & service charges: hotel tax (10%) plus service charge (10%).
Tipping: Restaurants usually add 15% onto your bill. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip.
Currency:U.S. Dollar. Ecuador has completed "dollarization." - converting the country's monetary standard to U.S. currency. U.S. bills and coins are now in countrywide circulation. Some Ecuadorian coins are used that are the same size and weight as their U.S. counterparts. ATMs are convenient in larger cities , and major credit cards widely accepted. Banking hours: 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Monday - Friday). In Indian markets bargaining is done with the local currency and with small denomination U.S. bills.
Shopping: Ecuador's colorful, daily (except Sunday) Indian markets offer excellent shopping. Popular buys include brightly colored hand loomed rugs, ponchos, shawls, wall hangings, and hats. The famous straw "Panama hat" is actually made in Ecuador because the original ones were made and exported to Panama for use by the canal builders. There are also unique, hand painted "bread dough dolls," jewelry, feather necklaces, Indian beadwork and other handicrafts from all areas. In Quito, along Av. Amazonas, there are many excellent handicraft stores. Shopping hours: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. - Monday - Friday and 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon Saturday.
Food and Drink: Ecuador offers a wide variety of exotic foods - llapingachos (fried mashed potatoes stuffed with cheese and covered with a peanut sauce), locro (potato and cheese soup with fresh avocado) and humitas (sweet corn tamales) are but a few. There is excellent seafood and the ceviche (raw seafood marinated in lime juice) which can be fish, lobster or shrimp. Many excellent restaurants in major cities with international and typical foods. National drink is rum, and Ecuador's beer is outstanding.
Telephone Area Codes:(593) country code; Quito (2), Guayaquil (4) and Cuenca (7).

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